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Partnership Profile

Curtin University support Learning Clubs in Gosnells, WA


Curtin University support Learning Clubs in Gosnells, WA

Coming to the Learning Club has really helped me to work hard in studies, to make more friends, to do better at school.

- Southern River College Learning Club participant, 2015

In partnership with Curtin University and Southern River College in Gosnells, Western Australia we’ve been proud to be part of a new Learning Club supporting secondary students in Years 7-9. The after-school homework club began in late 2012 to support Year 8 students with an interest and aptitude for maths, engineering and science, and has since grown to support students across the early secondary school years.

Projects for each term are developed in collaboration with the University and adapt each year to ensure that returning students are introduced to new scientific concepts and ideas. Over the three year partnership, students have participated in projects about bridge-building, rocks and minerals, a mining project and Lego robotics.

An added benefit of the program is students’ interaction with university students, who volunteer as tutors through the program.

Formal evaluation of the three-year project is pending. However, preliminary evaluation demonstrates the success the program is having on increasing school engagement and developing students’ self-confidence and social skills outside the classroom. One parent commented of her son:

[He’s] really enjoyed robotics and finds the challenges involved has made him really happier and looks forward to extend his knowledge. […] The challenge that the club offers has made [my son] more resourceful in conquering any problems.

The Smith Family delivers primary and secondary school Learning Clubs through similar partnerships across Australia. We know that students from low socioeconomic backgrounds are less likely to have the resources available to them to succeed at school. As reported in an earlier edition of Partnerships Matter, our Learning Clubs provide students with access to resources and expertise in a safe, after-school learning environment. The social interactions that students have throughout the program also enable them to better engage at school and develop their confidence and sense of belonging.

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